WILL Holds Racism Panel

Diverse individuals discuss diverse issues


In these racially turbulent times, the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning (WILL), an adult-learning group of some 400 members in Grant County, has been responding in various ways.

As part of its response, WILL is presenting a Zoom panel on the subject of “Racism and Discrimination in Grant County: Past and Present” from noon to 1:30, Saturday, Sept. 12. The panelists include two Hispanics, a black person and an indigenous person, all of whom have lived in Grant County for decades.

Luis Quinones, who grew up in Bayard, was the founding editor of El Reportero, a bilingual newspaper in Silver City in the late 1980s and is a longtime Chicano educator and activist. Cindy Renee Provencio also grew up in Bayard, but four decades after Quinones did, and wrote her master’s thesis at Texas Woman’s University in 2017 about segregation and discrimination against Hispanics in Grant County.

Kyle Johnson, a black man originally from California, has lived in the Gila Valley for the last 25 years and is the driving force behind Gila/Mimbres Community Radio, a local, progressive radio station for Grant County. And Romaine Begay, a Zuni Navajo potter and teacher from the Farmington area, has worked and taught in Grant County since the early 1990s.

These four panelists, from varied racial and ethnic backgrounds, and of different ages, will speak from their own life experiences about racism and discrimination in Grant County. They will address how and whether these circumstances have changed in recent decades, and where they stand today. The moderator of the panel is Magdaleno Manzanarez, vice president for external affairs at Western New Mexico University in Silver City. The event is free and open to the public. For information, call Stephen Fox, chair of the WILL Communications Committee, at 954-290-3569.